Cycle News

Cycle News 2016 Issue 01 January 12

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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VOL. 53 ISSUE 1 JANUARY 12, 2016 P111 the last lap, sometimes in the final corner. Despite two of those final- turn losses in a row, Seely did not get too down on himself, or begin doubting his ability to win. He kept it close and lost by just a handful of points. Big things were expected from both riders when they matriculated to the 450 class last year, with Cole moving to the powerful Honda Factory team and Jason inking a multi-year deal with the newly reborn Husqvarna Factory Race team. When Anderson took home a new Toyota Tundra for getting three holeshots on his way to third overall at the Monster Energy Cup, a few people noticed. When he blazed to a seemingly easy second place at Anaheim 1 last year, everyone noticed. Unfortunately, that was the highlight of his debut season and he ended up seventh. His 2014 rival had a much more prolific rookie year, despite going 14-14 at the first two rounds. Seely finished in the top five in 11 of the 17 races, notched his first 450 win in Houston and finishing third in the series points. Even bigger things are expected from Cole this year and for the first 13 laps of the 450 Main, he delivered. Seely was two-thirds of the way to a classic holeshot, gap and cruise victory, when he suddenly dropped anchor, slowing by a second and a half the final seven laps. I'm guessing arm pump, because I find it hard to believe that any of these guys get tired, with as much as they train. He did just come back from an injury, though. Whatever the cause, it was 2014 all over again for Seely, as Anderson methodi- cally picked off rider after rider until he was leading, then opened up a five-second gap as an exclamation point. To add insult to injury, Jason's training partner, Ryan Dungey, passed Seely on the last lap. I'm just going to say it: that Aldon Baker fella has the recipe for moto suc- cess. I mean, Dungey had a bad night and finished second. Of course, his night was not nearly as bad as James Stewart's night. He got inadvertently KO'd when he squared off in an attempt to make a pass, putting him into a nearly head-on collision with Dung- ey's KTM. Despite what many of the folks online may think, Dungey did not take out James on purpose, nor did James lay on the track, "fak- ing it" to get a red flag. Yup, some actually said that. The man was out cold. Earlier tonight, I spoke with John Gallagher, the AMA/FIM Race Director and referee, and he said that throwing the red flag was a no-brainer, especially with an unconscious rider partially blocking the race line. John, who I like to refer to by his other name, "The Guy Who Saved Rex Staten's Life," was even busier than usual Saturday night, dealing with the particulars of the Weston Peick/Vince Friese incident. If you have not heard, for reasons un- known, Vince Friese has reverted to his former "do unto others, then do it again" style of racing. Friese's rid- ing has improved substantially over the past year or so and he was be- ginning to shed his most-hated rider status, but it all went away at A1 with back-to-back take-outs of Peick. The first one was just a racing incident and the second was a rac- ing incident, with consequences. Vince ran it in hard on Peick in a bowl turn, causing both riders to go down. Weston was unimpressed and proceeded to pepper the back of Vince's helmeted head with rabbit punches while (I assume) offering his opinion. Still not satisfied, Peick flipped him off, before giving him a shove down the slope. All on live national TV. Contrary to what you may think, this is not the image our sport needs to project to the rest of the world. So, The Guy Who Saved Rex Staten's Life fined Peick $5000 and suspended him one race, as well as sitting him down the rest of Saturday night. The folks at JGR agreed that was reasonable and hopefully Weston learned a valuable lesson. Friese got a written warn- ing, telling him not to fall back into his former evil ways, or there will be consequences. The kinds of conse- quences that really hurt, not rabbit punches to the back of his helmet. John Gallagher catches a lot of flak for some of the decisions he has made through the years, but it comes with the job. It is a thank- less job, too, and as a former FMX judge, believe me when I say that I know what a thankless job feels like. "Can you hear me, Major Tom…" CN

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